It’s a Sarasota design question we are almost invariably asked. It goes something like this: “We don’t foresee ever selling this home but if we decide to we want to make sure we are building it to be marketable. Is there something we should be doing that we are not? Is there something we are doing that we shouldn’t?”
To create a home that is marketable on the high end isn’t difficult but does take experience. You want to understand the family that would consider the home, you also want to think about how tastes may change over time. There is a formula that we have followed and our clients have been very successful with. If you track the homes that we have built which have gone up for resale you’ll find that they beat the market, significantly in most cases. The same goes for the homes we’ve built on speculation, there’s a formula that just works.
Purchasing a desirable piece of land is important, not just in terms of the property itself but the location, the desirability of the area and the appeal of the neighboring properties on the street. This takes some local knowledge but it also takes some experience. When we seek out properties for our own company we seek out properties which are special in one way or another. Recently we purchased a single parcel of land on Bird Key, we divided it into two lots because a single canal front property on Bird Key had never sold for the price we needed to get for it. The property was special because it looked directly down the canal rather than across a narrow canal at another property, Bird Key has been very sought after for a long time now and these things combined with the price we were able to get it for made it a winning situation.
Design is critical though, and in the scheme of things equal to if not more so than location. I know this is counter to the commonly held belief but hear me out. I keep pretty close tabs on the real estate market here. Location is of little consequence if you choose poor design. Good design will always have a tough fight against a poor location. The synergy of a great design in a great location pays off not just when you go to sell but in the general enjoyment of your home.
So, design is important, we get it. Well, choosing the right design style and engaging the right architect is critical as well. At the end of what I like to call the “Mediterranean era” we would have clients come into our office and when we’d ask them what they wanted to build the consensus was “anything but Mediterranean”. Now for the record, I find the Mediterranean style beautiful in all of its subsets, done right I think its one of the most adaptable and fun architectural styles there is. The problem is, these people were referring to the “bastardized” Mediterranean style, the ones that were being built by track homebuilders who really didn’t take the time to understand the architectural style, the details or anything else about the homes they were building. Because they aren’t timeless, they age. They were a trend and now they are difficult to sell. Some of their hallmarks were a skip troweled stucco finish, large every fake looking and almost always out of scale foam “gingerbread”, aluminum soffits, poorly scaled and designed entryways the list goes on and on. When you can tie a home to a decade, it becomes hard to sell, when a home is timeless its very easy to attract buyers.
For resale, especially if its a long way off design needs to be timeless and I cannot stress enough the value of a talented architect. There are things that can be done to create a home that makes it easier for a future buyer to decide on. We’ve made accommodations for future elevators in homes where the owners had no intention of ever having one. We’ve made homes handicapped compliant. We’ve built 3 bedroom homes for clients who never planned on having guests stay the night. The idea is to envision the potential future buyer. They probably aren’t that different from you but perhaps you may want to add another bay in their garage for what may be their car collection, the extra space isn’t going to hurt you! And definitely research and hire a great architect for a great Sarasota design. The people who are putting it all together have to be great too so make sure to give us a call!